The CIO’s Role in the World of Consumer IT

Hardly a week goes by when I don’t come across an article saying how the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is going to be diminished or that the IT budget is going to move to other departments.

imageThis just seems nuts. In a world where information is growing exponentially, the expert in helping an organization get value from information is going to be marginalized? As I see it, that is dead wrong.

The CIO of the future is going to have to be agile, knowledgeable, approachable, and working in step with every aspect of the business. From experience I can tell you that each business unit isn’t going to wait for their turn. This means that CIOs are going to actually have quality deputies to help out. This implies growth, not the opposite.

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The Connected Era, The (Pre) Post-PC World

I wrote a couple weeks back about not reading too much into the current mobile sales numbers. While Mobile devices are out-selling PCs, that doesn’t tell the whole story. People have multiple devices and replace their PCs much less often.

imageThere were a few responses. Dan Antion related his own recent travels without a PC and how we are moving Beyond the Chasm with mobile devices. Ron Miller took a more conciliatory approach that when he said that the term Post-PC was still open to interpretation.

To help illustrate my point, Dan Levin of Box tweeted that on his weekend trip, the 12 humans had 26 devices. I didn’t ask but I suspect that there were no laptops. Of course, going on a weekend trip, why take anything other than mobile devices? Of course, exceeding a 2:1 ratio is pretty impressive, especially consider that kids were in the count.

This anecdote lends itself both sides of the equation. It shows that by simply surpassing PC sales, mobile hasn’t done enough to move into the PC era as there are more mobile devices than people in many households. On the flip side, it clearly shows the proliferation of mobile tech.

Of course, 10 years ago, there may have been zero devices on that trip unless you counted the dumb cell phones. While some mobile devices are replacing the use of PCs, especially for travel, it is also filling a void. People now use a PC AND a mobile device, depending on the situation.

We aren’t in a Post-PC era, though will get there eventually. That doesn’t mean that Mobile support isn’t critical. It is critical because people always want to be connected. That is the key, connectivity. The whole Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept is really what is defining this era. The devices people started bringing were smart phones and Macs. Now it is tablets.

The shift to mobile is just part of the puzzle.

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